This was my first time going as a volunteer instructor. We had 45 people attend in all which was a good sized group with lots of children. I arrived after everyone else so I missed the setting up of camp. When I did arrive everything had been set up well and the group seemed settled. On the whole the camp and kitchen side of things were well organised throughout our stay.
After I had dumped my bags and been briefed about how things were going and the itinerary I went to see the others grass sledging which looked great fun. There were quite a few new people on this trip which was great to see. My first task was to organise people for the evening climbing wall session. As we had such a big group we had to divide people into groups to do allot of the activities.
During the trip we did a couple evening climbing wall sessions which I really enjoyed and felt comfortable supervising people, with the other volunteers, as I have had lots of practice going to climbing walls with Craggers. As always it was great seeing people trying and succeeding at things for the first time. Helping people start to climb takes quite allot of patience and we need to offer support to the people climbing. I like to share in the climber’s enjoyment when they achieve in their climbing.
My role for the rest of the trip was to organise the groups for the activities, collect some of the money and supervise people during activities. The activities included rock climbing, kayaking, abseiling, zip wire and swimming. I enjoyed all of the activities, especially kayaking. I felt a bit nervous about supervising people on water as I worried that I would have to jump in and save someone at any moment but once we started the activity was very safe and loads of fun. I was also able to help a few of the children learn how to control their kayaks and didn't need to jump in at all.
The group as a whole pulled together really well. The domestic duties e.g cooking and cleaning were shared out fairly well and we all managed the children between us. We also had some lovely evening fires and the weather was showerey but offered us a lot of sunny relief as well.
I first went to Blackland's two years ago as a participant. It feels really good to give back to Craggers now by volunteering on these trips because of all the training and support I have received in Craggers. Due to the response we had this summer with bookings I really hope that we can run an Easter trip next year as well.